President-elect Donald Trump has, to put it mildly, a strenuous relationship with climate change scientists.
He's previously referred to the science behind climate change as a hoax in an infamous tweet, and he's pledged to scrap Nasa's research into the essential field, remarking that it is 'too politicised'.
In December, the president-elect said: “Nobody really knows [about climate change] – it’s not something that’s so hard and fast”.
And Trump’s decision to appoint Scott Pruitt – who claims that scientists are in “disagreement” about the link between human activity and global warming despite a 97 per cent consensus of scientists who agree there is a link – has been met with intense criticism.
Michael Mann, a climate change researcher at Penn State University wrote an Opinion piece for the Washington Post, lamenting the appointment of Trump not only for climate change policies but for scientists too.
We are afraid that four (possibly eight) years of denial and delay might commit the planet to not just feet, but yards, of sea level rise, massive coastal flooding (made worse by more frequent Katrina and Sandy-like storms), historic deluges, and summer after summer of devastating heat and drought across the country.
Mann’s research focuses on connecting human activity with an upward trend of rising temperatures. His findings have made him the target of Republican ire –on the federal, state and civilian level.
He has been the recipient of investigations prompted by “climate change deniers”; he has received threats of violence, and one email warned he will find himself “six feet under”.
Mann predicts that such threats, which he received during the previous Republican administration, will increase again with the Trump administration.
I fear the chill that could descend… the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.